Cultural Events and Ceremonies

Cultural Events and Ceremonies in Warri Kingdom

The Itsekiri Nation is blessed with different cultural events and ceremonies. Some of these are performed only on special occasions.

The well-orchestrated sounds of the ‘Agba’, ‘Iyo-Ogume’, ‘Oton- Ogume’, ‘Okiri’, Oji and Ketebu (all Itsekiri traditional drums) provides good and euphonious music for dancing in most of these festivals and ceremonies.

Coronation Anniversary (Uge Oyo Ekoro)

The coronation anniversary is a yearly event celebrated by the Itsekiri Nation to mark the coronation of a reigning Olu of Warri. During the reign of Ogiame Atuwatse II, the coronation anniversary was 2nd of May yearly. This changed to 12th of December yearly during the reign of Ogiame Ikenwoli.

The new coronation anniversary going forward would be 21st of August yearly as Ogiame Atuwatse III was crowned on the 21st of August 2021.

Ghigho Aghofen (The Palace Watch)

Ghigho Aghofen is a new cultural ceremony in Warri Kingdom initiated by Ogiame Atuwatse III to bring the Itsekiri communities closer to the Palace (Aghofen). The event holds 4 times in a year with four different communities. There is so much funfair and exhibition of magnificent dance steps of the Itsekiri people. During the event, other tribes in Warri Kingdom and externally also perform to entertain the guests that throngs the Olu of Warri Palace at Ajamimogha, Warri. 

The event holds on the last saturdays of March, June, September and the 3rd Saturday in December. 

Royal Iwere Christmas Carol

The Royal Iwere Christmas carol was inaugurated by Ogiame Atuwatse III and holds yearly around the Christmas season. The event is led by the Royal Iwere Choir and features Christmas carols in Itsekiri with other Itsekiri artists performing.

Awankere Festival (Okere Juju)

The Awankere festival is an annual event hosted by the Okere people of Warri Kingdom. The event occurs around August.  

Nanna / Neville's Day Celebration

The Nanna / Neville’s Day celebration is an annual celebration hosted by the Nanna family of Koko. The event signals the return of Nanna from his exile in Ghana with the huge role played by him in facilitating the release of Nanna. 

Otu-Oma Odokun Cultural Society Festival

This is a yearly Itsekiri cultural festival hosted by the Otu-Oma Odokun Cultural society. The event holds around the end of November into December every year

Okposo Festival of Ugbuwangue

This is an Itsekiri cultural festival hosted by Ugbuwangue community. The Ugbuwangue Okposo cultural festival is captivating owing to the magnificent enactment and exhibition of deep-rooted Itsekiri culture and tradition. The festival holds at the Ugbuwangue Town Square (Ogwa-Baba). 

The Okposo festival is marked once 5 to 10 years in veneration of a male and a female deity – ‘okposo’. The okposo masquerades are usually accompanied and escorted into the stage by an ‘Ọdẹ’ (a masquerade that escorts only special and extraordinary masquerades).

Ipi Awaran Festival of Ugbuwangue

This is another Itsekiri cultural festival hosted by Ugbuwangue community. The Ugbuwangue Ipi Awaran festival is celebrated annually on August 1st in appeasement to ‘Okposo’, a deity believed to own the lands and also believed to grant safety and protection to its people. Prince Iyonwuren celebrated same in his ‘Ogwa’ (this same arena) called’ Ogw’Ibaba’ (Baba’s Square) ages ago.

Ogono for Jesus

Ogono for Jesus Annual Crusade is an annual Christian crusade organised by the Ogono for Jesus Network. The event holds around December at the Olu Palace field, Ugbori. 

Ajimele Oliyor Festival

Ajimele Oliyor Festival is a 3 days annual display of Culture by the Itsekiri people in Ajimele, Sapele between late December and early January every year. 

The Oliyor festival which take place at ‘Ọdẹ’ kporo (big outside) masquerades list usually includes but not limited are Ogoni; Eja Eduro and Eja Oki on Day 1, Udele; Agbakara; Igodo; Agbaran and Olio Aja, on the final day of the festival you will be able to enjoy the Udele; Ogoni; Oli Udeyen; Eja Agbakara; Igodo; Agbaran and Olio Aja,

Ajimele Umale-Awaran Festival

Ajimele Umale-Awaran festival is a an annual display of culture by the Itsekiri people in Ajimele, Sapele in August. 

The festival takes place at Ajimele community play ground.

Okurama and Abiton-Okoro (Abitokoro) Festival of Obodo

Okurama and Abiton-Okoro (Abitokoro) festival of Obodo is an annual display of culture by the Itsekiri people of Obodo community, Warri South LGA in December.